2. The requirement for a residence permit in order to work and exemptions from this requirement
2.1. The requirement for a residence permit in order to work
2.2. Exemptions from the requirement for a residence permit
2.3. What is not deemed to be work
3. Groups exempt from the residence permit requirement
3.1. Groups of persons who cannot have an employer in Norway
3.1.1 Commercial and business travellers
3.1.2. Persons with technical qualifications
3.1.3. Persons in private service
3.1.4. Professional athletes and accompanying support personnel
3.1.5. Public employees in the pay of another state
3.1.6. Journalists and other personnel
3.1.7. Tourist guides
3.1.8. Personnel on foreign trains, buses and lorries (trucks)
3.1.9. Necessary security and maintenance crew
3.2. Groups of persons who can have an employer in Norway
3.2.1. Researchers, lecturers and religious workers
3.2.2. In-house training
3.2.3. Musicians, performers, artists and accompanying necessary support personnel
3.3. Interpreters who accompany persons as mentioned in sections 3.1. and 3.2.
4. Procedures and documentation
4.2. Period of stay and visa
4.3. Travel documents
Any foreign national who intends to take up employment with or without remuneration or who wishes to engage in business activity in the realm must have a residence permit giving him or her the right to take up employment or to engage in business activity, unless otherwise provided in or pursuant to the Act, cf. the Immigration Act Section 55 first paragraph. This applies even if the planned work lasts only one or several days.
The Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 specifies exemptions from this main rule, cf. the Immigration Act Section 5 second paragraph, because it is deemed impractical to apply the residence permit requirement to certain groups.
This circular deals with the groups covered by the first, second, third and fifth paragraphs of this provision. The tasks that the members of each group can carry out while still falling under the exemption rule are described. It is only in these cases that work or business activities can be performed without a residence permit.
The main rule is that foreign nationals must have a residence permit giving him or her the right to take up employment or to engage in business activity to carry out any form or work, whether paid or unpaid. The residence permit must be granted before the work starts, cf. the Immigration Act Section 55 first palragraph.
By 'work' is meant in this context, and in a broad sense, any performance that represents value creation. It is irrelevant in this context whether the value creation is of a material or more intangible nature. It does not take much for a performance to be deemed to constitute work.
Pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first, second and third paragraphs, certain groups of people are exempt from the requirement for a residence permit for employment relationships of up to three months' duration. This means that the groups in question are regarded as carrying out work, but that a residence permit is only required for periods of work in excess of 90 days. The same applies to persons mentioned in the fifth paragraph. However, the residence permit for this group is required already for periods of work in excess of 14 days during a calendar year. Previous stays in the Schengen area can have a bearing on the duration of stays in the realm under the exemption provision, see section 4.2 of this circular.
When it is evident in advance that the foreign national’s work will exceed the above-mentioned time limit, he/she must apply for a residence permit before the work commences. The foreign national cannot commence his/her stay in Norway without a residence permit, even though the conditions of the exemption provisions are met. If the foreign national travels to Norway for the purpose of performing a variety of work tasks, they must all be covered by the provisions of Section 1-1 of the Immigration Regulations to prevent the residence permit requirement from arising.
The provisions on exemption from the residence permit requirement to perform work are based on the Norwegian authorities not deeming it expedient to require a residence permit for every foreign national performing work in Norway. This is the case for certain groups of persons carrying out work in periods of short duration in Norway, for whom control considerations, including control of pay and working conditions and employment in Norway, do not apply.
The conditions for residence permits, cf. the Immigration Act Sections 23–26, do not apply to employment relationships regulated in Section 1-1 of the Immigration Regulations. At the same time, the wording of the exemption provisions makes it clear that the exemptions shall only apply to these specific groups. This limitation in relation to all other employees or self-employed persons, irrespective of whether they are also involved in short-term employment relationships, underlines that the residence permit requirement is not linked to the duration of the stay, but to the authorities’ need for control by stipulating certain conditions.
Persons who are to visit close relatives in Norway and during their visit help to care for and look after children, sick people or people with nursing needs in the relative's home are not deemed to be carrying out work within the meaning of the Immigration Act although it constitutes value creation for those relieved. In such cases, sporadic childminding etc. is regarded as ordinary assistance among close family members without being regarded as work by the involved parties or by the authorities. Foreign nationals who are subject to a visa requirement must apply for a visitor's visa in advance, cf. the Immigration Act Section 10. By close relatives is meant parents, children and siblings. In special cases, it can be extended to cover more distant family. What cases this can apply to will depend on an overall assessment of each case. One possible example are cases where the reference person in Norway has no close family.
Persons who come to Norway to study or receive training, to try out for a sports club or for training stays are also not deemed to be carrying out work although such stays constitute a form of value creation for those concerned.
It is a requirement for being included in one the groups of people exempt from the residence permit requirement set out in the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph that the person in question does not have an employer in Norway. Persons who fall under the second, third and fifth paragraphs of the provision may have an employer in Norway.
By employer is meant, as a rule, the enterprise that pays wages to and/or is authorised to instruct the foreign national. In this context, emphasis is placed on who the foreign national actually works for or represents, although he/she is not formally employed in this enterprise. Stays pursuant to the exemption provisions shall not be used to evade the requirement for Norwegian pay and working conditions, which is made in connection with residence permits for the purpose of carrying out work in Norway, cf. Sections 23-26 of the Immigration Act; see also 2.2.
- The foreign national is employed in enterprise A abroad. A has a contract with enterprise B in Norway. B, in turn, also has a contract with enterprise C in Norway for the delivery of a product or service. A shall contribute to this delivery. The foreign national attends meetings with C alone. He/she is then deemed to be authorized to represent B at these meetings on a par with B’s employees. The foreign national is therefore deemed to have an employer in Norway (B), although he/she is not formally employed.
- An enterprise in Norway (B) acts as an intermediary between the foreign national’s employer abroad (A) and another enterprise in Norway (C) for the purpose of establishing or supporting a collaboration between A and C. The foreign national attends meetings with C alone. The foreign national is not deemed to have an employer in Norway in this case, as he/she will not be representing B’s interests at these meetings.
- The foreign national is sent by his/her employer abroad (A) to Norway to perform maintenance work on a laid-up ship. The ship is owned by A. The foreign national is not deemed to have an employer in Norway.
To determine whether a foreign national has an employer in Norway, it is important to clarify who he/she is going to meet or perform work for, and the relationship between the parties. The foreign service mission shall ask foreign nationals who need a visa to stay in Norway to ensure that the letter of invitation from the Norwegian enterprise provides relevant information. The information shall be assumed, unless there are clear indications that the information is incorrect.
Commercial and business travellers are exempt from the residence permit requirement for employment relationships of the duration of up to three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 1-1 first paragraph letter a).
By commercial and business travellers is meant people who are to participate in meetings, conferences, contract negotiations etc.
By business meetings and contract negotiations we mean, in this context, the planning, reporting, presentation and handover of results/products and discussion at a more general level relating to a contract or project. Testing in connection with a product delivery, including acceptance testing of IT deliveries, is deemed to be part of the handover of a product and is thus covered by this provision. In general, people in managerial positions or with special expertise shall participate in these types of meetings/discussions. All work relating to the realisation of a contract (product development) is not an activity typically performed by a business traveller and falls outside the scope of the provision. ‘Workshops’ and similar discussion forums are therefore not deemed to be covered, as this type of activity is deemed to be part of the product development, where the participants exchange knowledge and information as part of their ordinary tasks in their home country. They are not deemed to be commercial or business travellers. See also 2.2 on the purpose of the exemption provisions.
In this context, veterinary inspectors, shipping inspectors and people with similar inspection duties are included under the category commercial and business travellers. The definition also covers people who are to sell goods at trade fairs and who engage in marketing and presentation of goods with a view to future deliveries at such trade fairs. Normally, this will cover trade or theme fairs that are open to professionals and/or the general public and that are held in trade fair premises approved for the purpose. Sales exhibitions where artists sell their works will also be covered. It is a condition for being included in this group that the goods for sale are brought from abroad and that the seller makes a living from the activity. This group also includes people who market/present goods or services located abroad, for example real estate agents who sell holiday apartments abroad.
Commercial travellers also include tailors who come to Norway to confirm orders and take measurements. However, the sewing is not covered by the exemption provisions, as this type of work concerns the production of the product.
It is specified that retail trade, for example door-to-door sales, do not fall under the scope of this provision.
The commercial and business travellers group also covers persons in managerial positions who are to establish a branch or other commercial presence in Norway on behalf of a service provider based abroad. It is a condition that the person in question is not to engage in direct sales or service provision activity and that the service provider is not otherwise represented in Norway. In this context, enterprises that do not produce goods, such as hotels, banks and companies in the communication/telecommunication, building and construction, cleaning and transport industries, are regarded as service providers. Also companies that produce goods in addition to providing services are covered by the exemption provision.
Persons with technical qualifications who are to install, disassemble, inspect, repair, maintain or provide information on the use of machinery or technical equipment are exempt from the residence permit requirement for employment relationships of the duration of up to three months. It is a condition that the need for such labour does not extend beyond three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter b). All conditions must be met in order for a person to be exempt from the residence permit requirement pursuant to this provision.
Persons with technical qualifications include technical experts, technicians, fitters, consultants or instructors.
If the person has no technical training, his/her qualifications can have been acquired through work experience. No requirements apply concerning the duration of their vocational education and/or work experience.
Examples of persons included in this category are:
engineers, computer electronics technicians, engine mechanics, power supply operators, operators (e.g. installing software), railway track workers, lift fitters, refrigeration and heat pump fitters, consulting engineers, ICT service workers, computer engineers and IT consultants.
Please note that some occupations are subject to a requirement for approval by a public authority (authorization, license or certificate) before a person is allowed to practice in Norway. For more information, see circular RS 2014-018.
By technical equipment is meant, according to long-standing administrative practice, machines, containers, transport devices, instruments and tools, and any other processed object used in the production of a product or work result.
Information technology (IT)
Information technology-based equipment ('computer equipment') is also regarded as technical equipment in this context. The rules of exemption apply when the foreign national shall install, remove or adjust software or when he shall inform about software, as long as all other requirements are met.
Testing, relating to the development of software, falls outside the scope of this provision. For acceptance testing, see 3.1.1.
By machine is meant, according to long-standing administrative practice:
- a unit equipped with or meant to be equipped with a power system that is not directly powered by humans or animals, and that is assembled from several parts or components, at least one of which is movable, and that has been assembled for a certain use,
- a unit as described in the first indent, but without elements to connect the components to the place of use or to sources of energy and driving power,
- a unit as described in the first and second indents, that is ready for installation, but will only be functional after being fitted to a means of transport or installed in a building or a structure,
- a group of machines as described in the first, second and third indents, or partly completed machines, that have been set up and controlled to function as a unit to achieve a certain result,
- a unit comprising many parts or components, of which at least on is movable, and that has been assembled to lift a load, and that is powered solely by human force.
On the basis of the definitions given above, neither a ship nor a car will be regarded as machines in their entirety. Parts thereof, however, such as the engine, will fall under the definition.
The person in question does not have to be an employee of the enterprise that supplies the whole or parts of the machine/equipment. If the machine or the technical equipment is to be assembled or fitted, however, the object can be brought from abroad. If the machine or technical equipment is already in Norway, the person can bring any parts necessary to carry out the work.
The need for this labour must not exceed three months. By this is meant that the person's duties must not be related to the enterprise's ordinary operations in Norway. A permanent need is deemed to exist when several people replace each other successively for more than three months in total and carry out the same tasks. If the assignment is extensive or cannot be carried out by a single person for qualification reasons, several persons from the above-mentioned groups can arrive at the same time for a period of up to three months each. If a person has to stop working before the assignment has been completed and before three months have passed, two or more persons can replace each other successively to divide the assignment between them. In such cases, the three-month time limit applies to their combined stays. It is emphasised that the need for labour is assessed in relation to the employer’s overall need, and not in relation to the performance of individual assignments or projects. This means that it must be assumed that consultancy firms etc. will always have a need to send technical experts (consultants) on assignments, such that the requirement for a three-month time limit will not be met.
The work/assignment must be completed within three months, and it is only in cases where a need unexpectedly recurs that a person can return to work on the same matter. An example would be a machine that breaks down again after a repair has been completed. If work is delayed, the foreign national's stay cannot be extended unless a residence permit is granted.
Persons with technical qualifications are obliged to report to the immigration authorities, see section 4.1 of this circular.
Foreign nationals in the private service of persons visiting the realm for a period of up to three months are exempt from the residence permit requirement for this period, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter c).
The person in question must be employed in the personal household, for example as a servant, domestic help, driver, private secretary or nanny.
The employer can be a foreign or a Norwegian national. The purpose of the employer's visit to Norway cannot be to take up permanent residence here.
Professional athletes and accompanying support personnel are exempt from the residence permit requirement for employment relationships of the duration of up to three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter d).
By professional is meant in this context that the persons in question support themselves with income received in connection with their athletic performances. The sport does not have to be a professional sport in Norway, however. Nor is there any requirement for a certain athletic level.
The purpose of this provision is to allow professional athletes to participate in a sporting event or competition etc. Examples include football players from European football clubs who come to play UEFA Europa League matches in Norway, biathletes who come to participate in World Cup events in Holmenkollen or foreign high jumpers who come to take part in Bislett Games.
Athletes who are here for training or trials (without a contract with a Norwegian employer) do not fall under the scope of this provision. Such activities are not deemed to constitute work within the meaning of the Immigration Act, see 2.3. The person can reside in the realm on the basis of a granted visitor's visa, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 3-4a, or because he/she is exempt from the visa requirement, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 3-1.
An athlete, who signs a contract with a Norwegian club, can neither train with, nor play, for the club after signing the contract until a residence permit has been granted. The person in question then has an employer in the realm, and does not fall under the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph, see section 3 of this circular.
In this context, coaches, masseurs, ski waxers and similar are defined as accompanying support personnel.
Athletes can be granted residence permits under the Immigration Regulations Section 6-1 first paragraph (skilled workers) or the Immigration Regulations Section 6-22 third paragraph (cultural workers). Reference is made to circulars RS 2014-018 and RS 2010-047 for further information.
Public employees in the pay of another state, when they come to the realm on the basis of a cooperation agreement between foreign and Norwegian authorities, are exempt from the residence permit requirement for employment relationships of the duration of up to three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter e).
By public employee is meant that the person is employed and paid by the authorities of his/her home country or the authorities of the country where he/she holds a work or residence permit.
The cooperation agreement can be a bilateral agreement between a Norwegian and a foreign public authority or be part of an international collaboration.
Employees of intergovernmental organisations such as NATO and the UN are not covered by this exemption. In this context, reference is made to the Immigration Regulations Section 1-4. Employees of international organisations such as the Red Cross are not public employees and do therefore not fall under the scope of the exemption provided for in the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter e).
Journalists and other personnel on assignment for a foreign media institution are exempt from the residence permit requirement for employment relationships of the duration of up to three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter f).
A journalist is a person who obtains, selects and puts together information and news that are then communicated to society through media such as newspapers, online newspapers, radio or television.
By other personnel is meant in this context photographers, camera operators, technicians, sound recordists and any other artistic, technical or administrative personnel affiliated to a foreign radio or TV team or working for a foreign newspaper. It is a precondition that 'other personnel' are people who are to assist the journalist in preparing his/her story.
The term does not cover people who come to Norway to work on a film shoot where Norway is the intended location, as they are not deemed to be journalists or other personnel within the meaning of this provision. For the carrying out of film shoots, reference is made to the exemption provisions for assignments not exceeding 14 calendar days for musicians, performers, artists or the accompanying necessary support personnel referred to in Section 1-1 fifth paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, see 3.2.3., and the provision on residence permits for the same group of persons in Section 6-22 first paragraph, see circular RS 2012-016.
By foreign media institution is meant an enterprise whose head office is located abroad. It may have an office or a branch in Norway, however. One example is a foreign TV channel that has an office in Norway to produce news and sports stories and only broadcasts these stories from Norway.
Journalists and other personnel working for a foreign media institution who are paid by a foreign employer or client and who plan to work in the realm for more than three months must apply for a residence permit. Such permits can be granted pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-31 first paragraph.
Tourist guides for foreign travel companies in connection with a visit to the realm are exempt from the residence permit requirement for employment relationships of the duration of up to three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter g).
By tourist guide is meant a person who is responsible for the execution of a specific programme or programme item for foreign tourists visiting Norway.
By foreign travel company is meant in this context a group of people who come to Norway from abroad to see nature, memorials, art etc. or to visit a particular cultural or sporting event.
As a rule, it is a requirement to be regarded as a tourist guide for a foreign travel company that the guide does not arrive or leave more than one week before/after the travel company's arrival/departure.
The trip can be organised by professional tour operators or private individuals or groups. The tourist guide must either be employed by or working on assignment for the foreign tour operator.
It is common for a bus driver to accompany a foreign travel company. If this is the case, reference is made to section 3.1.8. of this circular.
Other persons accompanying the travel company, e.g. cooks, must be necessary to be able to perform the trip in order to be covered by the exemption provision. This will be the case if the trip is a theme travel on food/cooking, or if those travelling require a special diet that cooks in Norway must be assumed not to have the competence to make.
Any representatives of a foreign tour operator who are to participate in the trip to identify potential for improvement or to familiarise themselves with the trip they are selling/plan to sell (for example the Hurtigruten coastal express) are regarded as business travellers, see section 3.1.1. of this circular.
Personnel on foreign trains, buses and lorries (trucks) in international traffic are exempt from the residence permit requirement for employment relationships of a duration of up to three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter h).
By personnel is meant in this context train drivers, train conductors, train stewards and lorry and bus drivers.
The means of transport must be foreign. Trains must belong to a foreign railway undertaking. If the carriages and the locomotives have different affiliations, the exemption provisions can only be applied to personnel who work in the part of the train that is foreign-owned. Lorries and buses must not be registered in Norway/have Norwegian licence plates. The decisive factor for lorries in this context is which country the tractor unit is registered in.
By international traffic in this context is meant that a foreign train, bus or lorry enters Norway from abroad or leaves Norway for abroad (cross-border traffic). This can be a one-off journey, several unscheduled journeys or an international scheduled service. Cabotage, i.e. transport of goods and/or passengers between two or more locations in Norway operated by a foreign carrier, is not covered by the term international traffic. However, if the same passengers and/or the same goods are carried throughout the period in Norway, it will still constitute international traffic.
Several sets of rules apply to international road transport, depending on which country the transport takes place to, from and through. You can obtain further details by contacting the Norwegian Public Roads Administration by phoning 02030 or e-mailing them at http://www.vegvesen.no/
Necessary security and maintenance crew on a foreign-owned laid-up ship in the realm are exempt from the residence permit requirement for employment relationships of the duration of up to three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter i). This means that four requirements must be met in order for a person to be exempt from the residence permit requirement under this provision: the person must be a member of the above-mentioned type of crew, he or she must be necessary, the work must take place on board a laid-up ship, and the ship must be owned by a foreign shipping company.
By laid up is meant that the ship has been temporarily taken out of operation. A vessel cannot be laid up without the permission of the municipality where it is to be laid up, cf. the Norwegian Act relating to Harbours and Fairways (Act No 19 of 17 April 2009) Section 27.
By security and maintenance crew is meant people who only perform security duties (security guards) and/or maintain the ship's moorings, exterior, interior and machinery, or modify the vessel or prepare it for the next fishing season. Examples of personnel who carry out maintenance include electricians, welders, technicians, painters and computer engineers. Cooks also fall under this category of personnel if they are necessary to cater for the security and maintenance crew on board.
By necessary is meant in this context that the person's labour is required to maintain the ship and keep it secure in accordance with the ordinary standards that apply in the shipping industry. If special needs so indicate, up to the full crew of a vessel can be included in what is regarded as the necessary security and maintenance crew. The number of people that make up the security and maintenance crew cannot exceed the number of people that can stay on board the vessel when it is operating. In other words, the maximum number of crew members is regulated by the vessel's accommodation facilities, which are in turn regulated by ILO Conventions 92 and 133.
The ship must be owned by a foreign shipping company. There is no requirement for the person to be an employee of the shipping company.
Necessary security and maintenance crew on foreign-owned laid-up ships, who are to work in the realm for more than three months, must apply for a residence permit. Such permits can be granted pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-31 third paragraph.
Necessary security and maintenance crew members are obliged to report to the immigration authorities, see section 4.1 of this circular.
Researchers, lecturers and religious workers are exempt from the residence permit requirement for employment relationships of the duration of up to three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 second paragraph. Religious workers are subject to a requirement that the need for such labour does not extend beyond three months. The condition does not apply to researchers and lecturers. This means that any work contracts with an enterprise in Norway can last for more than three months, but that the continuous period of residence cannot exceed three months, cf. Section 3-3 of the Immigration Regulations (see also 4.2).
A researcher is a person with higher education (at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent) who is engaged in research. The provision also covers scientists who conduct scientific work when it is not natural to regard their work as research.
By lecturer is meant a person who communicates his or her knowledge about a specific subject matter by talking to a group of people and discussing the subject matter and possible problems relating to it. A lecturer will normally address the target group on several occasions to communicate a more comprehensive message, while a speaker addresses a group on a single occasion on a more limited topic. Such speakers also fall under the group of persons defined in the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 second paragraph. No qualification requirements apply to lecturers and speakers.
A professor is one example of a lecturer. The professor could be invited by a university to give lectures during a semester. If the professor stays in Norway for a few days in connection with each lecture and spends the rest of the semester abroad, he or she will fall under the exemption provision, provided that the total duration of the professor's stays in Norway does not exceed 90 days in any 180-days period, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 3-3. The professor can have a Norwegian employer, cf. Section 3. If the stay has a longer duration than the rules of exemption can be used for, a residence permit is required. That can be granted pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-1 first paragraph or Section 6-20.
By religious worker is meant a person who is engaged in verbal religious instruction.
Examples include delivering a sermon or making a speech during a service or religious gathering, including reciting from the Koran, and holding conversations/meetings intended to strengthen the congregation in the practice of their faith. Speaking at meetings targeting the general public and conversations in connection with other outreach activities are also covered by the term religious instruction, as are administration of sacraments or other rituals under the auspices of a religious community. Missionaries who are to engage in religious instruction will be covered by the exemption.
Tasks relating to other forms of practical religious work are not covered by the exemption. Nor does the exemption provision in the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 second paragraph apply to different forms of transfer of expertise or professional assistance or any type of administrative and organisational tasks for a religious community. Reference is also made to the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1A as regards voluntary unremunerated work that does not require a residence permit. Please note that this provision does not in itself form a basis for residence, cf. circular G-05/2011 section 3.
The need for this labour must not exceed three months. How this requirement is to be practiced is explained in more detail in section 3.1.2 of this circular.
If the labour is needed for a longer period, or if the duties fall outside of the scope of the exemption provisions set out in the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 and 1-1A, a residence permit will be required. Such permits can be granted pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-1 first or second paragraphs or Section 6-23 second paragraph.
Foreign nationals who are employed in an international company are exempt from the residence permit requirement when they are to undergo in-house training for a period of up to three months’ duration, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 third paragraph.
By an international company is meant a company that states that it manufactures goods or provides services in at least two countries.
By in-house is meant that an employee of a foreign branch of a company is sent to the Norwegian branch of the company. No requirements apply as regards the employee's qualifications.
Training is to be provided by the foreign national carrying out work, cf. the definition of the term in section 2. The training can include theoretical tuition. It is a condition that it is the foreign national who is going to receive training. If he or she is going to provide training to employees in the Norwegian part of the company, an application must be submitted for a residence permit.
Training that is to be given because the Norwegian part of the company has outsourced tasks to the foreign part of the company is not deemed to be covered by this provision, as long as it concerns necessary knowledge transfer for the performance of a contract the company in Norway has with a client. If the training is related to general internal business processes, the provision is applicable.
The purpose of the stay in Norway must be a short-term placement with the Norwegian branch of the company to take part in a defined training programme. If the foreign national needs a visa to stay in Norway, the visa application must also contain information about:
- the duration of the training
- the content of the training
- the reason for the foreign national’s need for training
This information can be provided using the form enclosed with this circular or in the form of a letter or similar.
Foreign nationals who do not need a visa must be able to provide corresponding information at the request of the Norwegian immigration authorities.
It is a condition that the person continues to work for one of the company's branches abroad after his/her stay in Norway. This means that he/she cannot at this time be included in the Norwegian branch's ordinary workforce.
A person can stay in Norway for in-house training for two periods of 90 days each or several shorter periods totalling 180 days. The exemption provision cannot be used in excess of this maximum limit, not even if the person is to undergo training with a new employer.
The duration of the period between training periods is regulated by the visa provisions in the Immigration Regulations Section 3-3, cf. section 4.2 of this circular.
Musicians, performers, artists and accompanying necessary support personnel are exempt from the residence permit requirement for assignments not exceeding 14 days during a calendar year, cf. Section 1-1 fifth paragraph of the Immigration Regulations.
In order to be covered by the provision, it is a condition that the main purpose of the stay in Norway is cultural dissemination, e.g. through music, dance, theatre or similar. Dance where the purpose is stripping falls outside the scope of the provision. This is because stripping is not deemed to constitute cultural dissemination.
The assignment must not exceed 14 days during a calendar year.
Days that the foreign national spends practising, on rehearsals or similar, and therefore not directly on disseminating culture, are not included in the calculation. The stay in Norway can therefore last for up to 90 days, in accordance with the rules set out in the Immigration Regulations Section 3-3; see also 4.2.
Musicians, performers, artists and accompanying necessary support personnel who are going to work in the realm for more than 14 days during a calendar year must apply for a residence permit. Such permits can be granted pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-22 first paragraph; see also UDI circular RS 2012-016.
If a person covered by an exemption provision needs an interpreter in connection with his/her stay in Norway, it follows from long-standing administrative practice that the interpreter will be included in the same group of persons as the person for whom he/she interprets. Interpreters/translators who are employed or hired by Norwegian organisers are not covered by the exemption provisions in the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1, however, and have to apply for a residence permit, cf. the Immigration Act Section 55 first paragraph.
Foreign nationals who are exempt from the residence permit requirement in the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter b) or fifth paragraph, shall, prior to entering the realm, give written notification to the police in the district in question. Such notification may also be given by an employer, organiser, tour guide or other responsible person, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 eleventh paragraph.
Foreign nationals as mentioned in the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first paragraph letter i) have an obligation to report to the police in the district in which they are staying, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 eleventh paragraph. Such notification must be given in writing.
If the plan is for the foreign national to stay in the realm for several short periods for the same purpose, this should be stated in the notification submitted in connection with the first entry. If the other periods during which the person in question will be working in Norway are stated, the duty to report can be deemed to have been fulfilled for these subsequent stays.
The Directorate must be contacted by phone if the police are in doubt about whether the employment relationship falls within the scope of the exemption provisions.
If the obligation to report, cf. the Immigration Act Section 19 third paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 eleventh paragraph, is not complied with, this will be deemed to constitute a violation of the Immigration Act and could involve criminal liability under the Immigration Act Section 108 second paragraph letter b), cf. Section 139, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 18-13 second paragraph.
The total period of stay in the Schengen area for foreign nationals, who do and do not require a visa, see the Immigration Act Section 9 fourth paragraph, may not exceed 90 days in any 180-day period, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 3-3. If the foreign national has a residence permit in another Schengen country, the period of stay is calculated from the date of the first crossing of an internal Schengen border. Periods of stay in Norway or another Schengen country with a residence permit are not included when the period of stay is calculated. For persons who fall under the scope of the exemption provisions in the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1, this means that previous stays in the Schengen area without a residence permit can have a bearing on the duration of their stay in Norway pursuant to these provisions.
Some examples follow below:
· A person who has visited a Schengen country as a tourist for 60 days and within a 180-day period comes to Norway to repair a machine, can only work in the realm for 30 days without a residence permit.
· A person who has worked in Norway for 40 days under the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first or second paragraphs can return to Norway/the Schengen area for a further 50 days for the same or another purpose, as long as the total does not exceed 90 days in any 180-day period. For an accurate calculation of future periods of stay, reference is made to the visa calculator available on the UDI's website's visa pages.
Unless otherwise decided, foreign nationals must hold a visa in order to enter Norway, cf. the Immigration Act Section 9. It is stated in the Immigration Regulations Section 3-1 who is exempt from the visa requirement. Visas granted for stays in connection with an employment relationship or assignment as mentioned in the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1 first, second, third or fifth paragraphs shall be granted as Schengen visas with the duration and content that comply with the provisions in the Immigration Regulations Section 3-9. All conditions for this type of visa, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 3-4a, must be met.
If the foreign national's work in the realm lasts for more than three months, he/she must apply for a residence permit, cf. the Immigration Act 55 first paragraph. For information about the procedure for applying for a residence permit, reference is made to the Immigration Regulations Section 10-2. Note that a first-time residence permit must have been granted prior to entry into the realm, cf. the Immigration Act Section 56 first paragraph. It is stated in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-1 who is exempt from this rule.
Unless otherwise provided, a foreign national who comes to the realm must have a passport or other identity document that has been recognised as a travel document, cf. the Immigration Act Section 8.
A seaman’s identity card may be valid as a travel document for a seaman coming to the realm to work as necessary security and maintenance crew on a laid-up ship, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 2-8 first paragraph letter d). The provisions in the second and third paragraphs apply correspondingly. In this connection, please note that seamen who apply for a residence permit to work for periods in excess of three months must document their identity by means of an ordinary passport pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 10-2 second paragraph, since a seaman's identity card cannot be used as an identity document in this context.
Travel documents for aircraft crew members are regulated in more detail in the Immigration Regulations Section 2-9. Pursuant to this provision, an aviation personnel licence (airline flight crew licence or crew member certificate) is recognised as a travel document for entry into and necessary stays in the realm for crew members of aircraft calling at a Norwegian airport in international commercial traffic, when the aircraft is registered in a state that is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), or one with which Norway has agreed on such recognition. The same applies to crew members on their way to or from active service.
Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of Department
Contact: The Managed Migration Department, Work Unit